KEBS details how edible oil companies use tricks to sell more products

for Tv47 Digital September 27, 2022, 03:19 PM
KEBS details how oil companies use tricks to sell more products
Cooking oil on sale at a supermarket. PHOTO / COURTESY

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has revealed how oil manufacturers use tricks to dupe consumers and ensure they sell more products.

KEBS accused the manufacturers of producing cooking oil with high levels of iron, whose effect was higher levels of consumption by customers, to keep buying more.

On Friday, September 23, KEBS suspended several cooking oil brands including Bahari Fry, Fresh Fri, Fry Mate, Olive Gold, Rina, Tilly and Top Fry for having high levels of iron.

Leading manufacturers Bidco, Pwani Oil, Kapa Oil and Menengai Oil were culpable of the aforementioned affected brands. 

The set standard for iron in edible oils is 2.5mg/kg.

KEBS said it would take legal action against the four manufacturers for selling substandard products.

"It is illegal for any manufacturer, distributor or anybody to sell a product that does not meet standards and therefore, after recall, we are going to proceed with taking action on these manufacturers who may have distributed these products to the market," said KEBS MD Bernard Njiraini.

"We are talking more about the quality of the edible oil, that if the edible oil or fats have excessive iron, the quality in terms of its life if it’s for deep frying deteriorates and that means most of the customers would run back to the shop more frequently. It is much more of a commercial concern, than a health concern," he added.

In their defense, the manufacturers accuse the agency of accusing them without any scientific basis. They however agreed that the affected batches be recalled from the market.

They went on to state that they have done independent verifications from KEBS accredited laboratories, which confirmed that products in the said batches are safe.

This comes at a time when Kenyans are purchasing cooking oil at prices about 40% more than last year.

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